On the occasion of its first anniverary the Rio Film Commission will offer $584,171 (1m Brazilian Real) in direct incentives to international companies willing to shoot in Rio de Janeiro.

The official announcement will be made on October 4 at RioMarket, the business arm of the Rio International Film Festival that runs from September 23–October 7.

The incentives will benefit four foreign projects and each will receive $146,028 ($250,000 BRL).

“The criteria to choose projects will be how much money they will bring to the city, if they already have distribution and if Rio will have a positive image in the film,’’ Sergio Sa Leitao, president of Rio Filme, a film financier linked to the Rio municipal government, said.

The main sponsor of Festival do Rio this year, Rio Filme came together with the state government to launch the Rio Film Commission last year. “We joined forces to offer world-class infrastructure and services and make the city the most important Brazilian site for international feature productions,’’ Leitao said. He expects a record 100-plus projects including films, commercials and television films will have shot in Rio in 2010.

Films that have recently shot in Rio locations include Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables, Carlos Saldanha’s Rio and Jonathan Nossiter’s Rio Sex Comedy (pictured), which will receive its South America premiere at Festival do Rio on Ocotber 1.

“Even though Rio is an animated feature the film was made with the total support of the city, that hosted the creative team during their research,’’ Leitao said.

The next big Hollywood film Leitao wants to attract is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, which is in pre-production. “We are negotiating with the producers. If they agree to come to Rio we could offer them the benefit of our Rio Global line, another incentive we have available.’’

ThroughRio Global line the Rio Film Commission can offer a certain amount of money to guarantee Rio images in the film. “For example, if they will invest $1m in the city, we can give them about $250,000. We will give money to make more money’’, Leitao said.

According to the director of RioMarket, Walkiria Barbosa, in recent years Festival do Rio has been the main promoter of the city’s ability to host big international productions. “We always bring important foreign producers to our meeting and seminars,” Barbosa said. “In the end they all get very surprised with our infrastructure, besides our locations that includes beaches, mountains, forests and different architectural styles.”